Sep 4, 2018

CEO Spotlight: Mazy Dar, OpenFin

In this CEO Spotlight, Numerix’s Jim Jockle sits down with OpenFin CEO, Mazy Dar, to discuss the rapid rise of OpenFin, the fintech revolution and where the industry is going next.

Arriving at OpenFin

Eight years ago, while most of the market had not yet emerged from the shadows of the financial crisis, one of today’s most innovative, and forward thinking fintech firms was conceived. Today, known as “The Operating System of Finance” – OpenFin has all but revolutionized the desktop experience for traders.

Dar takes us back to where it all began. “I was working at Creditex providing a trading platform to the flow desks at all of the major CDS dealers, and it turned out that getting a trading app on to a desktop was a very painful thing to do. After Creditex was acquired by ICE, my colleague Chuck Doerr and I began talking about how we would go about solving this distribution problem, holistically, across the financial services industry.”

Dar and Doerr envisioned a process where any app, whether it was a trading app, market data, visualisation, research or chat app, could easily be distributed to a traders’ desktop, in the same way apps are distributed to phones today.

As Co-Founders of OpenFin, over the past several years Dar and Doerr have made this idea a reality. Today, the OpenFin OS powers financial desktops with the same app distribution, security and interoperability capabilities as iOS and Android. Here, Dar talks about the journey:

Riding the Wave of Fintech

“There are a number of macro-trends that have been fueling fintech in general, and acting as catalyst for our business,” Dar explains.

Dar discusses how end user expectations have changed. “Today the sales trader that works at a bank, also has a phone. They see apps and how easy they are to use and are left wondering why this experience isn’t the same for their mission critical apps to do their job.”

"Banks and the buy-side also need to be much more mindful of costs, and to not build things they aren’t good at building," he goes on to explain. “This has not only led to innovation in the fintech space but has acted as a catalyst to drive openness in adopting new types of technologies so firms can benefit from innovation rather than just building everything themselves."

Understanding the OpenFin Ecosystem

“Many of the major innovations we know of today were essentially made possible by the Android and iOS operating systems. These operating systems enable the instant distribution of apps to end users, strong security and interoperability of apps.”

Dar discusses how these three components do not remain true for the financial desktop. “It’s hard to distribute apps on financial desktops, the security isn’t there and, for the most part, the apps don’t talk to each other. This is what OpenFin enables. The OpenFin OS allows anyone to build a financial desktop web app, distribute it to the end user, and have that multi-window, multi-monitor trading experience. The OS also ensures that these apps communicate with each other, they are interoperable and able to share context and intent. This is critical for today’s trader.” Dar explains:

Accelerating Innovation for the Providers of Financial Apps

Innovation isn’t always about disruption, it’s about enablement and empowerment. As mentioned, OpenFin is bringing the same app infrastructure from the consumer world to the desktop to accelerate innovation. “As it applies to companies like Numerix, you want fast deployment of financial desktop apps and an incredible user experience. Also, you want your app to interoperate with an end users’ workflow.”

Here Dar talks about the benefits to the providers of financial apps. In collaborating with OpenFin, apps can become embedded and instantly interoperable with a traders’ internal apps, third party apps, and anything else an end user is using on its desktop. Dar explains:

The future of OpenFin

Dar concludes with his outlook for OpenFin, the technology he’s most excited about and the future for the company’s growing partner network.

“We are driven by a single question: what is the enablement we can provide for the industry? Our goal is to continue to provide the technology to enable industry participants to innovate.”

Interested in learning more?  Hear from Mazy Dar, OpenFin CEO live at NEXT 2018. Register Today!

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